cover image The Lost

The Lost

Natasha Preston. Sourcebooks Fire, $10.99 paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-5226-7

Best friends Hazel and Piper, 16, live in a small lakeside community where, over the past few months, 11 teens from neighboring communities have disappeared. The police have labeled the missing kids as runaways, but after Piper meets handsome college students Caleb and Owen, the girls realize that something far more nefarious is happening. Forced into a building on private land owned by Caleb’s family, the girls become part of a deadly game concocted by the sociopathic young men. While in captivity, Hazel and Piper meet four of the missing teens, who get the girls up to speed on the psychological torture “challenges” Caleb and his crew have set up, and warn them about room zero, where they are expected to fight to the death. Determined to escape and to save fragile Hazel, Piper joins forces with Evan, a boy who claims to have been a prisoner for more than six months. Borrowing familiar themes from teen slasher films—remote locations, emotionally unstable and bloodthirsty villains, and questionable romantic liaisons—Preston (The Cabin) has created a deeply disturbing tale that explores what can push someone to kill and what people will do to survive, and she keeps tensions high to the final page. 14–up. Agent: Jon Elek, United Agents. (Apr.)